240 metric tonnes s of aid will be airlifted from Saudi Arabia to Somalia in time for the Eid ul-Fitr holiday. The UN refugee agency UNHCR will distribute ready-to-eat meals, orange juice, sweets and biscuits to those hit by famine in Mogadishu and the Lower Shabelle region. The extra food will assist Muslims in the area in celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
The Horn of African is in the midst of a crippling drought with agencies such as Medicins Sans Frontiers and the UN struggling to meet the needs of Somalian refugees pouring into Kenya and Ethiopia. Nearly 850,000 people have fled fighting and instability in Somalia which has spent much of the last 20 years without a functioning national government.
At the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, 30,000 more people have recently arrived, necessitating the construction of extension camps at Ifo and Kambioos. “We continue to pitch new rows of tents, and focus on the immediate provision of basic hygiene services, namely by installing water systems and digging latrine pits,”Adrian Edwards, the spokesperson of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said in Geneva. Funding the Kenyan operation is a $62 million donation from the IKEA Foundation, which will be disbursed over three years.
The Saudi government has been assisting relief efforts in the region through the launch of a national TV campaign by order of King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud. 202 million Saudi Riyals (around €37 million) has been raised so far, in addition to donations-in-kind including hundreds of tons of dates, shelters and medical supplies.